Posts filed under Poetry & Quotes


by Seamus Heaney

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.

Under my window, a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked,
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade.
Just like his old man.

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it. 


Posted on July 12, 2016 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.

Harvest Time

by Pauline Johnson

Pillowed and hushed on the silent plain, 
Wrapped in her mantle of golden grain, 

Wearied of pleasuring weeks away, 
Summer is lying asleep to-day,-- 

Where winds come sweet from the wild-rose briers 
And the smoke of the far-off prairie fires; 

Yellow her hair as the goldenrod, 
And brown her cheeks as the prairie sod; 

Purple her eyes as the mists that dream 
At the edge of some laggard sun-drowned stream; 

But over their depths the lashes sweep, 
For Summer is lying to-day asleep. 

The north wind kisses her rosy mouth, 
His rival frowns in the far-off south, 

And comes caressing her sunburnt cheek, 
And Summer awakes for one short week,-- 

Awakes and gathers her wealth of grain, 
Then sleeps and dreams for a year again. 

Emily Pauline Johnson (known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake –pronounced: dageh-eeon-wageh, literally: 'double-life') (10 March 1861 – 7 March 1913), popularly known as E. Pauline Johnson or just Pauline Johnson, was a Canadian writer and performer popular in the late 19th century. Johnson was notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her First Nations heritage; her father was a Mohawk chief of mixed ancestry, and her mother an English immigrant. One such poem is the frequently anthologized "The Song My Paddle Sings".

Her poetry was published in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. Johnson was one of a generation of widely read writers who began to define a Canadian literature. While her literary reputation declined after her death, since the later 20th century, there has been renewed interest in her life and works.       ~  taken from Wikipedia

Posted on October 7, 2015 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.


Coffee arrives, that grave and wholesome Liquor, 

That heals the stomach, makes the genius quicker,

Relieves the memory, revives the sad,

And cheers the Spirits, without making mad...




Posted on September 27, 2015 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.

Italian Food

by Sheldon Silverstein, 1930-1999

For fans of Shel Silverstein... and Italian food!

Shel Silverstein's poetry lives on in "Every Thing On It ~ Poems and Drawings", published posthumously, in 2011. Must be read aloud to be fully appreciated... as must most poetry, come to think of it...

Oh, how I love Italian food.
I eat it all the time,
Not just 'cause how good it tastes
But 'cause how good it rhymes.
Minestrone, cannelloni,
Macaroni, rigatoni,
Spaghettini, scallopini,
Escarole, braciole,
Insalata, cremolata, manicotti,
Marinara, carbonara,
Shrimp francese, Bolognese,
Ravioli, mostaccioli,
Mozzarella, tagliatelle,
Fried zucchini, rollatini,
Fettuccine, green linguine,
Tortellini, Tetrazzini,
Oops—I think I split my jeani.

© 2011 Evil Eye, LLC

Posted on June 17, 2015 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.

Signature recipes

Ever wonder why your mother's (or a friend's) coveted recipe is just never right when you make it yourself? This excerpt might help to explain it. 



My mother's recipe was easy, really. It called for:

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a quarter pound of butter
a quarter pound of sugar
three tablespoons of golden treacle
one teaspoon of almond extract
and half a pound of oats

I call it my mother's recipe, though she may have copied it from somewhere; she was always copying down a recipe. But this one was not cut from a magazine, or copied from the newspaper, as she did, by rubbing wax paper over newsprint to collect the words and then rubbing the wax paper on a page of the scrapbook, transferring all those little black newsprint letters. This recipe was in her handwriting: "Melt butter, sugar, and treacle, and add essence. Take off the fire, add oats. Mix well, pour into a greased baking dish, and bake in an oven with a moderate fire for half an hour. Let cool. Cut into squares."

"Add essence" By this she meant "add almond extract," but when she made oatcakes she did add essence, her own essence. When I made oatcakes, they didn't taste anything like my mother's, though I followed my mother's recipe to the letter. They tasted good enough, but they tasted of my essence, not my mother's. There are no two cooks that can make the same dish; you'll find that essence in one and not the other. Or the essence in each is just different. I don't know. But you'll know the essence of a good cook when you find it in a dish. You'll just know. It was there in my mother's cooking. My father knew it. He'd eat the oatcakes my mother made, but not the oatcakes I made.

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Posted on June 14, 2015 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.

The Orange

by Wendy Cope
At lunchtime I bought a huge orange 
The size of it made us all laugh. 
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave - 
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange it made me so happy, 
As ordinary things often do 
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park 
This is peace and contentment. It’s new. 

The rest of the day was quite easy. 
I did all of the jobs on my list 
And enjoyed them and had some time over. 
I love you. I'm glad I exist.


Wendy Cope, “The Orange” from Serious Concerns.
Copyright © 1992 by Wendy Cope

Posted on June 11, 2015 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.


by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Dad planted me
a cherry tree
for my birthday
years ago.

We were tiny
tree and me
my arms
his branches
short and low.

Through the window
through the years
we’ve watched 
each other
sway and grow.

This morning
I found cherries.
Tree, you did it!
Way to go!

© Amy Ludwig VanDerwater


Posted on May 28, 2015 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.

Dinner in a Quick Lunch Room

by Stephen Vincent Benet

Soup should be heralded with a mellow horn, 
Blowing clear notes of gold against the stars; 
Strange entrees with a jangle of glass bars 
Fantastically alive with subtle scorn; 
Fish, by a plopping, gurgling rush of waters, 
Clear, vibrant waters, beautifully austere; 
Roast, with a thunder of drums to stun the ear, 
A screaming fife, a voice from ancient slaughters!

Over the salad let the woodwinds moan; 
Then the green silence of many watercresses; 
Dessert, a balalaika, strummed alone; 
Coffee, a slow, low singing no passion stresses; 
Such are my thoughts as — clang! crash! bang! — I brood 
And gorge the sticky mess these fools call food!

Stephen Vincent Benet (1898 – 1943 / Pennsylvania / United States)

Posted on April 29, 2015 and filed under Poetry & Quotes.